Book Reviews

Book Review: Crass Struggle.


The author R.T. Naylor is a professor of economics and has made it his life’s work to research the motives of greed and record them.

In this extremely well researched (most likely by his graduate students) book, he explains in four parts, and in minute detail how precious metal small-time diggers and huge mining organizations, with help from the rich, exploited, polluted, and ruined many a peaceful countryside. This is the first part.

The second part deals with con artists and art collectors, explaining how the market functions, how some gullible nouveau riche fall for so called “originals”, and how unsuspecting museum curators buy into stories told them. Occasionally, a con artist is caught, but usually punished mildly in proportion to the fraud he intended to perpetrate. Government employees in “art-rich” countries must also be blamed for looking the other way when petty thieves steal artefacts.

But the good professor is the harshest critic of western European governments that literally stole enormous amounts of artefacts from many Middle Eastern countries including Greece, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq just to name a few.

The third part blames rich wine connoisseurs who know nothing but pretend to, American cigar smokers willing to go to great lengths to obtain Cuban cohiba cigars and are duped. Caviar aficionados, both in the U.S.A and western Europe are, swindled by savvy middle men and retailers.

It is simply fascinating to read the details uncovered by the good professor.

The fourth part deals with exotic animal collectors who willingly pay enormous sums for parrots, tiger skins, or bear parts, and middle men willing to exploit their eager clients.

Professor Naylor indicts the U.S.A and the United Kingdom of extreme and exploitive capitalism, American foreign policy, religious beliefs and plundering historical artefacts of underdeveloped countries where corrupt officials line their pockets. He forgets, maybe conveniently or not, how poorly these custodians are paid and desperately need money to survive.

But he also, rightly, blames the US army for being very lax in Iraq when it soldiers and higher-paid officials plundered museums in Baghdad and elsewhere.

The author loves details, and his knowledge of detail seems to be stupendous.

What really bothers the good professor is the art and archaeological scams of rich, gullible and largely uniformed people.

A book for everyone to read and be well informed about this part of

the economy and “cultural life”.

Highly recommended!

Hrayr Writer – Hrayr Berberoglu – E-mail – Read his books?
Professor B offers seminars to companies and interested parties on any category of wine, chocolates, chocolates and wine, olive oils, vinegars and dressings, at a reasonable cost.

One Comment

  1. Just another case of buyer beware!
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